Anyone with an active lifestyle understands the importance of choosing meals and snacks wisely. You don’t just want to eat empty calories; you want nutritious foods that boost your energy and replenish the vitamins and minerals you deplete while exercising.
At the same time, athletes typically want snacks that are easy to make or can at least be prepared in advance. Plus, you’ll likely prefer more portable options. If this sounds like you, you can draw inspiration from these seven energy-packed snacks:
Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Energy-filled peanut butter protein balls include just five ingredients and can be put together in under 10 minutes. Apart from this, they’re also packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you energized throughout the day.
To prepare this snack, combine creamy peanut butter, oats, flax seeds or chia seeds, and a little honey to bind the mixture. Refrigerate the mix for at least a couple of hours, then roll them into small balls to eat. You can also freeze them for up to a week and consume them before your workouts.
Veggies Dipped in Hummus
Hummus is packed with plant-based protein, contains high fiber, and has a low glycemic index. Dipping vegetables into your hummus is a great way to add crunch and double up on your nutritional intake.
You can get creative with all sorts of vegetables, such as peppers, radish slices, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and broccoli or cauliflower florets. If you want to make the hummus yourself, you’ll just need chickpeas, tahini (optional), garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
Collagen Protein Bars
Collagen is a vital protein that provides structure and support to tissues all around the body. For many athletes, increasing collagen intake and synthesis is a priority, as the protein can alleviate joint pain, boost muscle mass, strengthen bones, and support heart health.
You can make homemade collagen protein bars by combining powdered collagen peptides, vanilla, coconut oil, salt, and maple syrup and freezing them until they solidify.
Although you can make these treats on your own, it may be easier to purchase them pre-prepared and individually wrapped for snacking on the go. You may also want to try keto friendly protein bars with collagen that incorporate MCT oil to boost fat burn.
A jam-packed parfait can include healthy berries, nuts, granola or oats, and Greek yogurt for a low-calorie and high-energy snack. You can whip up a quick parfait with ingredients that you likely already have at home. Aside from fruits, nuts, and grains, you can also sprinkle in flax or chia seeds for added health benefits.
Overnight oats are quick to make and can be prepared in advance; you can store them for up to five days. Apart from being easy to make, they contain high amounts of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
You can make them by mixing oats, milk, and your choice of fruits, nuts, seeds, and other additives of your choice in a sealed jar. Many people add cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or peanut butter to their mix for extra flavor.
With the lid on tight, shake the jar to mix the ingredients and refrigerate it overnight. In the morning, it’ll be ready to eat and have a sweet, creamy taste.
Blueberry Beef Jerky
Yes, you read that right—blueberry beef jerky is an easy-to-make, delicious, and energizing snack.
In moderation, beef jerky makes for a healthy and low-carb snack. It may come as a surprise, but beef jerky contains not just a lot of protein, but vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and phosphorus as well.
To make blueberry beef jerky, season ground beef, flatten it on a baking tray, and evenly press fresh blueberries into the meat before cutting it into slices. Then, bake the meat in the over for a few hours until thoroughly dehydrated—no dehydrator necessary.
Chickpeas are low in calories and packed with nutrients, such as folate, iron, manganese, and protein. They also help keep you satiated throughout the day, and you can use them as a quick snack to keep you energized and full.
Roasted chickpeas aren’t just healthy; they can also be packed with flavor if you make them right. You can season chickpeas with your choice of spices, such as rosemary or lemon zest, before browning them in the oven. Click here for more roasted chickpea flavor ideas.
Experiment and Find Your Favorite
There are plenty of nutritious and quick snack recipes that are perfect for athletes and any active individual. With a little research and trial and error, you can find the perfect recipe or store-bought product that keeps you full and energized through all your daily activities.